Based on our experience and others, Apple's PR team does everything it can to hand out favors to journalists who write articles that it approves of and punish those who don't. This attempted manipulation consists of a variety of standard carrot and stick techniques, most of which are used to some extent by other companies as well.
The carrots include invitations to Apple's famous product launch events, flattery, and "exclusive" access to some of Apple's executives. The sticks include launch-event snubs, guilt trips, and the silent treatment.
So it would certainly be no surprise to us if The New York Times is now serving some time in Apple's penalty box.